Orion’s belt is one of the most famous and easy constellations to spot in the night sky. It is named after a hunter from Greek mythology and can be seen from almost anywhere in the world. It is said that the Egyptians even built the pyramids at Giza to exactly mirror the belt.
The Plough is one of the first constellations you learn to spot as a child and is made up of seven stars. Although it is commonly referred to as a constellation it is actually an asterism. Around the world the plough is also known as the Big Dipper, the Saucepan, the Great Wagon and the Big Bear.
Ursa Minor is also known as the Little Bear and is one of the most popular constellations. The reason for its popularity mainly comes from astronomy navigation as its constellation includes the famous North Star. The Little Bear name is because the constellation looks like a little bear, a way to spot it is the North Pole star sits at the top of its tail.
This is also known as Polaris or the Northern Pole Star. It is the brightest star closest to the North Pole and the 40th brightest in the Universe. The North Star has been used for hundreds of years to help with navigation, seamen used to use it to navigate their way North and calculate latitude, it is still used today especially if people get lost.
This constellation was named after the larger than life character known in Greece as Heracles and translated to Hercules by the Romans before becoming a Disney character. This is the 5th biggest constellation in the sky and can be seen from both the Northern and Southern hemisphere; you can see it in the North from April to November. Although it is a large constellation it doesn’t have any bright stars so cannot be seen from cities or built up areas – Kielder is the perfect place to see it. Hercules is thought to be one of the oldest constellations and dates back to the 2nd century.
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